Monday, October 31, 2011

Tricks and Treats

We went for a walk by the water on Saturday morning, anticipating that a big Nor'Easter was going to keep us indoors for the rest of the weekend.

But the storm just brought rain and wind to the coast.  A lot of our neighbors to the West got a foot of snow, and a few places got as many as thirty inches.  Two days before Halloween??  Mother Nature is tricky.

There were also treats.  We had a beautiful sunny day on Sunday, we harvested some arugula (no holes!) for a perfect salad (olive oil, salt, pepper = perfection),
and we got to enjoy our newly delivered stove and microwave. 

While it's not the most fascinating story, I thought I'd explain a little about our stove/microwave decision process.  Here's a before photo:
Aside from the appliances appearing dated, some of the finish was peeling on both.  More importantly, there were a few cooking problems.  The oven door did not open all the way.  You could still get big things in and out, but there was delicate maneuvering involved.  Also, the two large burners were starting to go, so I'd be waiting and waiting for a pot of water to boil, only to find that the burner wasn't hot at all.  Sometimes I could jiggle the burner and get it to start up again, but the process was getting old. 

I did look at replacing the burners, and the receptacles, which connect the burner to the electricity, because it was really those that had corroded and were causing the problem.  It was going to cost $100.  That would be reasonable, but then we had to consider how old our stove was.  We didn't know for sure, but once I found out that Caloric ranges stopped being made in the early 90's, I was convinced it was not worth the repair.  This was confirmed with an estimate that the average life expectancy of an electric range is 17 years.  It would only be a matter of time before the oven went, and one of my greatest fears was that it would be on Thanksgiving day, when we had over 20 people at our house. 

With Thanksgiving in mind, I wanted to maximize our cooking ability with the new appliances.  I went for a double oven, and a microwave with a convection feature, so we could be cooking things at three different temperatures all at once. Luxury!  I also knew I wanted to update with stainless steel.  If I had all the choices in the world, I would have selected a gas stove over electric, but we don't have gas in our house, or our town for that matter, so that will remain a dream.  I used Consumer Reports to narrow it down, and wound up choosing the Maytag Gemini and matching microwave because, while the ratings were similar, the Maytag appliances were more affordable than their GE counterparts.  I also liked the appearance better, and our less-than-a-year-old refrigerator is a Maytag, so there would be no issue with matching the stainless.

Without further ado, here it is:

Pretty, right?  Don't look to the right, because you'll see our antique dishwasher with a peeling finish, and the windows above the sink that have been taken apart and cobbled back together while waiting for a new window unit to arrive.  After Thanksgiving.  Oh, well. We are happy with the new appliances.

Wishing you a happy Halloween, with lots of treats!

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